Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Domestic abuse: ‘My violent partner tortured me for three hours’

Warning: this article contains details of domestic violence which some people might find upsetting

“I was banging on windows, screaming. Every time I’d scream, he’d put his fist in my throat – I couldn’t breathe.”

BETHANY MARCHANT
BETHANY MARCHANT

Bethany Marchant was subjected to a violent attack by her then-partner Stefan Carr.

On Monday he was jailed for 11 years and three months for the assault on Bethany and an earlier attack on a previous partner.

Bethany, 24, says she is speaking out to encourage others to seek help if they’re in a violent relationship.

“Get out there, have your say, and don’t be pushed down by these people. They belong in prison, they don’t deserve to be here,” she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Bethany with her ex-partner Stefan Carr
Bethany with her ex-partner Stefan Carr

Bethany and Stefan had been together for seven months.

She says there were “no warning signs” that he was a violent man and he was “charming and so kind” to her.

It was the night Stefan, from Castleford, confessed to cheating on Bethany that “all the torture started”.

A long argument turned into a sustained series of attacks on Bethany – which were caught on the CCTV at his home on 5 May.

“He locked the door, took my phone off me, he would suffocate me, strangle me,” Bethany says.

“This went on for hours until eventually he got a ready-made noose from a chest of drawers and hung me from the door for three minutes.”

She says he dropped her to the floor and she “was vomiting everywhere”.

Carr's house was covered by CCTV cameras he had installed which recorded his assault
Carr’s house was covered by CCTV cameras he had installed which recorded his assault

Bethany says she managed to persuade Carr to take her to the hospital – but instead, on the drive, he told her he was going to drown her “in a nearby reservoir”.

The police then arrived – which she says was due to the neighbours.

“The neighbours had seen Stefan with a knife at my throat through the window and they’d phoned the police.

“They made another call once they could see Stefan putting me in the van. If they hadn’t rung the police, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Stefan Carr admitted four counts of assault and one of attempted assault
Stefan Carr admitted four counts of assault and one of attempted assault

Carr was jailed for four counts of assault and one of attempted assault – two of the charges related to attacks on his previous partner.

Bethany says hearing the prison sentence for Carr “was hard”.

“It didn’t feel like closure. I thought immediately I would feel better and I didn’t.”

But she adds “it was a relief” and that “a big weight had been lifted”.

“I’d been holding it in since May, it was nice to finally have my say.”

According to statistics from the ONS, two million adults – including 1.3 million women – aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year up to March – an increase of 23% from the previous year.

Mum-of-one Bethany says “it’s been really difficult” but moving forward she “can now seek help”.

She says she wants to get the message out to “people who are suffering in relationships that there is hope out there”.

“You just need to be brave and seek help. Get out there, have your say, and don’t be pushed down by these people.” BBC News